WARSAW, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Poland and China have been mutually benefiting from their friendly and steady relations since the two countries set up diplomatic ties 70 years ago, a Polish expert said.
Poland was among the first group of countries to recognize the People's Republic of China (PRC) and forge diplomatic relations with the newly founded government, Zbigniew Wiktor, professor at the University of Wroclaw, said in an interview with Xinhua. "Together with the founding of the PRC, close political, economic and cultural cooperation began," he said.
With efforts from both sides, bilateral trade in 2018 exceeded 24.5 billion U.S. dollars and observed an increase of 15.5 percent over the previous year.
"It is in the interest of Poland to further tighten the cooperation with China," Wiktor said, adding that the two economies are "complementary" and could complete one another in an excellent manner. He noted that such a relationship is the case for other Central European countries.
He described the founding of the PRC as a "great historical event," saying that it was "important not only for the Chinese people and nation, but also for all progressive people across the world."
"Polish people had for a long time been supporting the heroic fight of the Chinese people," he said, speaking highly of China's unprecedented achievements over the past 70 years.
By practicing the socialism with Chinese characteristics, China, especially in the past four decades, turned itself from a poor country into the world's second largest economy in terms of gross domestic product, he said.
Wiktor also mentioned the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by China in 2013, which is to promote cooperation, connectivity and common development along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
Poland signed an memorandum of understanding with China about the BRI in 2015.
The expert said he believes the BRI is "a great opportunity for Central and Eastern European countries, including Poland."
The initiative represents not only economic cooperation, but also peace, people and cultural exchanges and many other merits, he added.
"For those reasons, the Polish public opinion supports this initiative and is in favour of the active involvement of Poland in it," said Wiktor.